A little known program that gives many more New Yorkers access to more health coverage....
As you can read in Rosa's story, Medicare, the U.S.'s health insurance for people over 65, does not cover certain common and key expenses for older adults, including home attendants, adult day care and dental care. These gaps leave people making difficult financial decisions, avoiding critical treatments, living without support and entering nursing homes when they would rather stay at home.
Medicaid, health insurance for those who are disabled and/or who have low incomes, however, does cover these costs. And through an under utilized program, only offered in certain states, including New York, many more people qualify for Medicaid (and therefore these highly sought after services) than think they do.
People who make more money than Medicaid's qualifying guidelines allow, are permitted to put money for basic living expenses in what is called a pooled trust, effectively setting that money aside, and lowering their income level. The pooled trust, run by a non-profit organization, then pays the person's bills (e.g. rent, mortgage, utility bills, insurance, groceries) directly.
For Rosa, gaining
access to Medicaid now allows her to have a home attendant, which has greatly improved her quality of life and mental health (and relieved her family), and has allowed her to get dental procedures she was long putting off.
Read more here in a 2010 NYTimes article about how this program makes a difference in the life of New Yorkers.